Demo outside Chelsea FC backs Ukrainian miners

Photos by Peter Arkell

Supporters of miners in the Ukrainian city of Kryviy Rih who are demanding a rise to compensate for a cut in real wages by 50%, protested outside Chelsea FC in London yesterday where employer EVRAZ was holding its AGM.

One of  company’s main shareholder is the Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, who also happens to own the football club where the meeting was held. EVRAZ is based in London for tax reasons and is listed on the stock exchange.

John McDonnell MP later handed in a letter addressed to the company’s chief executive, calling for action over the miners’ demands.

In a statement, the local branch of the Independent Union of Miners of Ukraine, said: “Despite the escalation of the socio-political situation in our country, the oligarchs still refuse to meet the workers half way.”

Kryviy demo

They say that the company has dramatically increased its profits from exports following the drastic devaluation of the Ukrainian hryvnia, while real wages have fallen by half during the same time.

Kryviy demo

“Resentment is growing among the miners. Over a thousand workers at the Frunze and Jubilee mines personally signed up to support our demands.  Miners feel strongly, and if there is no adequate increase in wages we will turn to mass protests, and possibly to an all-out strike,” said the union.

12 June 2014

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